Modification Generation: Youth Piercing and Tattoo Statistics


Body modification.  In statistical study it’s generally broken up into two parts: tattoos, and body piercings.  It’s estimated that up to 83% of the population has their earlobes pierced, making those of us who don’t (like me!) a definite minority.  For the purposes of labeling the modification level of the U.S. population and that of Europe, most studies performed since the 1990s consider a “piercing” to be anywhere except the earlobe.

Body Piercings and Tattoo Art

For example, a survey published in 2008 by a team of professors at Texas State University concluded that approximately 16 percent of persons aged 18 to 24 have both piercings and tattoos.  Considering that in many states you must be 18 to get tattooed in the first place, this is actually a pretty high number.  A survey that wrapped up just two years earlier in England found that a whopping 46 percent of women between the ages of 16 and 24 were pierced in places other than the lobe, with the navel, nose, and ear cartilage fighting over top spot, just as in the U.S.  Recent studies performed in America have upped our numbers to an estimated 14% overall who have at least one body piercing, and 16% overall who have at least one tattoo.  According to data compiled in 2004, approximately twelve percent of those who have never been pierced say that it’s due to allergies to certain metals.  Studies conducted in the past decade also confirm that women are more likely to get pierced than men, while men are slightly (about 2%) more likely to get tattooed than women.

Comfy Biocompatible Body Jewelry

Although the United States beats out Great Britain by a small margin for most pierced and tattooed country, in terms of percentage it can be noted that England remains by far the most modified country in all of Europe.  And numbers around the globe are only expected to continue to rise.


  1. Ginabunny says:

    I actually would’ve thought that more would be tattooed. piercing seems like less but almost everyone seems to have a tattoo now though

  2. alicia peer says:

    can you tell me the percentage of workplaces that will not hire a person with stretched ears and facial piercings?

    • Lorna says:

      It’s actually quite difficult to find data on this subject, because the percentage changes so drastically based on the type of business. In food service, for example, facial piercings are sometimes seen as a detriment due to strict health standards, so within that particular industry the percentage would likely be quite high compared to say, a more artistic field like graphic design. Although there have been several impartial surveys taken since 2000 suggesting higher percentages (around 50-60%), many of these reflect numbers based more on white collar jobs or professions in which the employee’s appearance may have a direct affect on company image. Keep in mind too, that more and more companies everyday are changing their policies to reflect transitioning social norms, and piercings in the workplace are increasingly common.

  3. Destiny says:

    can you give me a rough estimate, About how many of those 83% of people with pierced earlobes, have their ears gauged/stretched?

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